wants to sell its and Integrator UAVs to India, and also hopes to interest the country in the Osprey, according to Dennis Swanson, president of ’s Indian operations.
“We see a market in India for ScanEagle that can help provide intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data or communications relay,” Swanson tells Aviation Week on the sidelines of the ninth Aero India show in Bengaluru.
Capable of flying above 16,000 ft., ScanEagle has also demonstrated the ability to provide persistent, low-altitude reconnaissance. The UAV carries either an inertially stabilized electro-optical or an infrared camera. The gimbaled camera allows the operator to easily track both stationary and moving targets, according to Boeing.
The UAV, which is 4 ft. long with a 10-ft. wingspan, can remain on station for more than 15 hr. Future variants will have an endurance of more than 30 hr.
Boeing subsidiary Insitu is currently displaying full-scale models of the ScanEagle and Integrator unmanned aerial vehicles at Aero India.
Swanson also hopes India will show interest in the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor. The Osprey can carry 24 combat troops, or up to 20,000 lb. of internal cargo or 15,000 lb. of external cargo, at twice the speed of a helicopter. It features a cross-coupled drive system so either engine can power the rotors if one engine fails. For shipboard compatibility, the rotors fold and the wing rotates to minimize the aircraft’s footprint for storage. “The V-22 is the only vertical-lift platform capable of rapid self-deployment to any theater of operation, worldwide,” Swanson says.
Boeing’s business in India has boomed in recent years, despite its loss of India’s multibillion dollar fighter procurement, ultimately won by’s . Boeing has already bagged Indian defense contracts worth more than $8 billion in the past few years.
“While our engagement on the defense side is relatively recent, we have been fortunate to be selected by the Indian navy to providemaritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine aircraft and Harpoon missiles, and selected by the for the strategic and tactical airlifter and Boeing business jets,” Swanson says. “This has happened as a result of India’s defense modernization effort, Boeing’s renewed focus on international markets, and closer relations between India and the United States.”
Late last year, Boeing won a $1.3 billion Indian air force (IAF) contract for 22Apache attack helicopters. “Negotiations are currently on with the Indian government and we would also discuss the option of 11 more of these aircraft,” Swanson says.
Shortly after landing the Apache deal, Boeing was selected as the preferred vendor for the country’s $1.4 billion heavy-lift helicopter competition, with its Chinook. Swanson says the contract for 15 helicopters is expected to be inked this year and talks will begin on the option for seven more.
The company is on track to deliver three P-8I long-range maritime reconnaissance and antisubmarine aircraft to India in 2013 and the remaining five to the Indian navy by 2015 under a contact signed in January 2009, Swanson says.
“We have already made an on-site delivery of the first of the eight long-range maritime reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare P-8I aircraft last December. India will receive this aircraft and two more of its eight contracted P-8Is in 2013 and by 2014 the entire lot will be delivered,” he adds.
An option for another four aircraft is being discussed, Swanson says.
Boeing is also scheduled to deliver five C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in 2013 and five in 2014 under a June 2011 contract signed by India’s defense ministry and the U.S. government, he says. Last month, Boeing delivered the first of the five aircraft due this year, and it has entered a U.S. Air Force flight test program at Edwards AFB, Calif.
India signed a $4.1 billion foreign military sales contract with the U.S. in 2011 to acquire the aircraft, making the country the largest C-17 export customer. The contract was finalized last June.
Although there are no options in the deal to buy additional aircraft, Boeing believes India may want six to 10 more C-17s, Swanson says. Indian defense ministry sources have confirmed this interest.
V-22 photo: Boeing